George W Crooks
Posted By: County Coordinator (email)
Date: 4/12/2010 at 14:10:10
George W Crooks was for may years actively connected with the profession that has important bearing upon the stability, prosperity and welfare of every community. A mind naturally analytical and logical in its trend has given him force in the trail of litigated interests intrusted to his care, and his name, figures prominently in connection with the court records. He as born in Clay county, Indiana, on July 22, 1836, and is a son of Jacob and Hannah (Croy) Crooks, both of whom were of German lineage. His ancestors in teh paternal line established homes in Ohio and Kentucky. Jacob Crooks served his country as a soldier in the War of 1812, and in days of peace devoted his attention largely to the cultivation of the fields. In 1845 he left Iindiana for Iowa, establishing his home in this state when it was still under territorial rule. He first made settlement near Fairfield, in Jefferson county, but in the spring of 1847 came to Boone county, where he entered land from the government, securing a claim a few miles south of Boone. With characteristic energy he began the development of the place, turning the first furrows and making the first improvements upon this land. There he made his home until his death, which occurred in 1853, while his wife survived until 1882.
George W Crooks was a lad of but 9 summers when the family arrived in Iowa, and his youth was spent in the usual manner of lads who are reared upon the frontier. He early became familiar with the best methods of breaking the sod, cultivating the fields and caring for the crops, and to the farm work he gave his attention until 1855, when he removed to Boonesboro, since which time he has made his home either in that town or in the city of Boone, save for a period of two years, which he spent in Madrid, Iowa, in 1856 he began working in a flour and sawmill and was thus employed until he joined the army.
Mr Crooks made preparations for having a home of his own in his marriage in 1860 to Miss Rebecca Nutt. The following year the Civil war was begun and, his patriotic spirit being thoroughly aroused, he offered his services to the government and was commissioned first lieutenant, with the power to enlist a company. He assisted in raising Company D, Tenth Iowa Regimant, and left Boone county for the rendzvous in August, 1861, but on account of ill health he was disqualifed to be regulary mustered in the United States service, His brother W C Crooks, who also joined the army, was killed in the battle of Shiloh and the Grand Army post in Boone was named in his honor, It as a sore disappointment to George W Crooks that he could not go to the front, but in every possible way he rendered aid to the Union cause at home and never wavered in his loyalty to the federal government in the slightest degree. In June 1863, he was appointed sheriff of Boone county, and filled that position until January 1874, when at the end of about eleven years, he retired from the office with the confidence and good-will of all, having made an excellent record by his fidelity, loyalty and fearlesness in that position.
Mr Croods had previously taken up the study of law and after careful preparation for the bar was admitted at the December term of the district court, in 1873, upon examination before the Honor D D Chase, who was then judge of the district court. In the following January he formed a partnership with I N Kidder, with whom he was associated until 1882. The following year he entered into partnership relations with R F Jordan, with whom he practiced continuously until 1891. Through the two succeeding years he did not engage in active practice, but in 1893 formed a partnership with the Honor J J Snell that was maintained for a number of years. He was second attorney in Boone county, and continued in active practice until 1908, when he retired.
Unto Mr and Mrs Crooks were born two sons, John S, now mayor of Boone, and W H who is engaged in the abstract business. The wife and mother passed away November 27, 1909, and her death was deeply regretted by many friends who esteemed her highly for her many excellent traits of heart and mind. In his political views Mr Crooks has always been a stalwart democrat, and for one term he represented his district in the state legislature. Fraternally he is a Mason and has been most loyal to the teachings of the craft, exemplifying in his life its beneficent spirit. His religious faith is that of hte Methodist church. Ere he retired from active practice a biographer wrote of him:
"He has long occupied a foremost postion in the foremost rank of the legal practitioners of Boone county. His life has been one of untiring activity and has been crowned with a big degree of success, yet he is not less esteemed as a citizen than as a lawyer, and his kindly impulses and charming cordiality of manner have renedered him exceedingly popular among all classes. The favorable judgment which the world passed upon him in his early years has nenver been set aside nor in any degree modified. It has, on the contrary, been emphazied by his careful conduct of important litigation, his candor and fairness in the presentation of cases, his zeal and earnestness as an advocate and the generous commendation he has received from his contemporaries, who unite in bearing testimony to his superior mind and high character."
Mr Crooks is now in the 78 year of his age, but well preserved for one of his years, and though the snow of winter is upon his head, the flowers of spring are in his heart. He keeps in touch with the trend of modern thought and progress and no history of Boone county would be complete without extended reference to him, because of his long residence here and the important part which he has played in the public life of the community.
1914 Boone County History Book
Boone Biographies maintained by Jan Bony.
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